Adam, et al. v. Colonial Insurance Company

Ohio Hit Skip Evidence Includes Testimony OR Physical Contact


The case stemmed from an uninsured motorist claim with Colonial Insurance Company of Wisconsin. The insureds filed a complaint on July 2, 1998 seeking to recover under the uninsured motorists provision of their automobile liability insurance policy. The insurance carry filed a motion for summary judgment asking the cour to thold that they did not have to pay pursuant to the insurance contract because the insured failed to produce independent third-party testimony supporting their claims that a "hit-and-run" driver caused the collision. The trial court agreed with the motion and held that the insureds must present independent third party testimony to recover under their uninsured motorist cliam pursuant to the Ohio Supreme Court decision in Girgis which found that Ohio public policy precludes insurers from requiring physical contact with a hit-and-run vehicle as an absolute prerequisite to recovery of uninsured motorist benefits.

The Thenth District Court of Appeals of Ohio reversed the trial court and held that the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in Girigis allows an uninsured motorist claim arising from an accident when a hit-and-run driver if there is either physical contact OR independent third-party testimony. The Court further held that Girgis only requires corroborating evidence and not eyewitness testimony for a claim to go forward.

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Reference Info:Decision | State, 6th Circuit, Ohio | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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